Really interesting analysis programme on the BBC Radio 4 on Monday night - looking at what makes an effective school.
It gave the statistic that most researchers agree with that schools only have a 10% impact on a child's education and future chances. The other 90% is from their environment, homelife, parents and the area they are raised. It would be interesting to see how much money is spent on parenting classes compared to education to see if it reflects this impact statistic.
If it isn't why do governments continue to put money into something that isn't that effective? Is it because they are scared of the nanny state argument - people are free to choose how they parent but not free to choose how their child is educated (although this is changing and if we take this logic further does that mean that children will soon be able to select which parents and parenting style they want?).
Also are we able to compare that statistic to the health service in that the NHS can provide support and services to help improve people's health but it is down to their environment and personal influences which has a bigger impact - which is where methodologies like social marketing become more important. The last few years there has been a lot of discussion about the need for more preventative rather than treatment programmes but this is still not being translated into budget commitments.
The analysis programme finished by saying that teachers need to believe in the myth that schools have a bigger impact than the research states. I don't agree this impact statistic may relate to educational achievement but it is very difficult to measure the day to day impact that teachers, school staff and indeed health staff on the people they come into contact with every day.
The small changes, a child tying his shoe for the first time, being able to write their name, having breakfast on a Monday morning or a patient smiling are impossible to measure but are vital to the immediate impact teachers can have compared to any future educational achievement.
Other social marketing and behaviour change blogs that we read: